Among the most challenging symptoms associated with quitting smoking is depression, and for many smokers, managing mood changes and other emotional factors is a real issue. However, if you make the commitment to quit, knowing what to expect will help you deal with these symptoms effectively and efficiently, keeping you smoke free for the long haul.
Here, we take a look at the causes of depression after quitting smoking, how to manage those symptoms, and a variety of coping techniques designed to help you push through that early discomfort and maintain your commitment to quitting smoking for good!
For more information regarding smoking cessation and depression, contact the NHS stop smoking service or speak to your local pharmacist about how NRT can help. Additionally, learn more about NRT products here and discover the best combination for your specific journey to becoming smoke free.
According to a body of peer-reviewed research gathered in a Truth Initiative report, nicotine can worsen anxiety symptoms and amplify feelings of depression. The common misconception that nicotine relieves stress, anxiety, and depression, may be rooted in the cycle of nicotine withdrawal. Irritability, anxiety, and depression are some of the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, and using nicotine relieves these symptoms temporarily.
Many misinterpret the effects of tobacco products as a stress reliever. Indeed, Truth Initiative surveys show a large majority of young people who have used e-cigarettes started vaping to lessen feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression, and many continue vaping to cope with these feelings. Though they may be looking to nicotine for relief, many young people are unaware that vaping may make their symptoms worse.
Quitting smoking is linked with lower levels of anxiety, depression, and stress, as well as improved positive mood and quality of life compared with continuing to smoke, according to a 2014 meta-analysis of 26 studies about smoking and mental health published in the British Medical Journal.
Introduction: Affective disorders and symptoms (ADS) are predictive of lower odds of quitting smoking. However, it is unknown which approach to assessing ADS best predicts cessation. This study compared a battery of ADS screening instruments with a single, self-report question on predicting cessation. Among those who self-reported ADS, we also examined if an additional question regarding whether participants believed the condition(s) might interfere with their ability to quit added predictive utility to the single-item question.
Smokers have an increased risk of depression and anxiety, though the reason for this is unclear. You may smoke to feel better. When you quit smoking, you may feel more anxious and depressed. Insomnia is also also common.
The other psychological triggers may be more difficult to deal with, especially if the smoking was a self-soother / treatment for anxiety or depression, which fits with the symptoms you describe. It sounds like there are many more complex issues you are dealing with than just smoking cessation. Obtain a referral to a Psychologist as suggesed above, and have an assessment for symptom levels. If severe, return to your doctor and consider medication for depression and anxiety for the short term to \"get out of the hole\". Then work with the Psychologist to treat the issues. Someone with addiction treatment experience would be adviseable. There is some good advice above.
I understand what you are going through. I lost my job and turned to alcohol when I gave up after 30 odd years of heavy smoking. I ended up with mental health issues and lost my drivers licence and had numerous issues with feeling my life was not worth living and ended up a number of times close to completed suicde. I did get help and although my life became a mess, I also have scars all over my right arm where I engaged in self harm to help ease my pain at the time. I have been 9 months self harm free and 3 and a half years smoke free. It has been a huge battle. I do suggest you stay away from NRT such as mini lozengers as I seem to have an addiction for these now and have been importing them through ebay as they are not currently available. Goodluck and you will suceed in the end. I believe as with everything in life, to move forward you have to lose things. Your kids will be so proud of you when you finally get there and there seems to be alot of good suggestions for you to try. I guess just don't give up,you will never get to where you want to be if you stop trying.
You have received a lot of good advice and suggestions already, I do hope they are helping you. The only addition I would make is that just quitting smoking itself is not enough. What you also need is stress management techniques to replace the 'job' that smoking was doing. When you quit, you get a double whammy, which is why you feel so awful.
You need to replace the job that smoking was doing, and cope with the stress that quitting is causing. No wonder you are stressd out of your brain! If you need any more techniques other than what others have recommened, I use Mindfulness skills with clients to overcome anxiety, stress and any other bad feelings, including withdrawal from addictions. It does work but it takes dedication and practice. Whatever you do, don't expect a quick fix, but if you stick to a proven method, it will work in time. Good luck!
Although it's a bit unconventional, I can only describe what has been working for me. Microdoses of psilocybin. (less than 1/10 of a gram/dose). No more that one dose every four days. No pyschoactive effect at all at this doseage - really no noticeable effect at all other than a very collected emotional state usualy noticed most strongly on the morning of the day following an evening dose. Dose is about the size of half a peanut. I quit a little over a year ago using a vaporizer and reduce the nicotine content from 18 mg/ml to start to less than 2mg/ml in 12 months. My depression is very managable now nearly non-existent and perhaps just normal for a man in his 50's with 2 ex-wives and a sensitive soul in these trying times. In the course of the year I have had recourse to this treatment only 6 times and only 2 of those where I repeated the dose at 4 days and only one instance where I repeated the dose on day 8. Be aware this substance is illegal in many parts of the world. Good luck with quitting, it gets a little better every day!
As you may know, many people believe marijuana to be a perfectly harmless substance. Although some people may smoke marijuana without consequence, there are many people who struggle with an addiction to the drug. A 2007 study found that marijuana use caused increased sensitivity to anxiety in young adults, while other studies have found adverse effects from regular marijuana use such as developing addiction, impaired brain development in adolescent years, an increased risk of developing mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia, and chronic lung disease.
When you are smoking weed, your brain is flooded with serotonin and dopamine. When you stop smoking, the levels come crashing down and your brain is accustomed to having elevated levels. This creates the depression you may feel after quitting marijuana.
Some people experience depression for months after quitting weed, while others experience it for a day or two. You may experience it as a feeling of discontentment, sadness, or lack of motivation to do anything. The reason this happens is that the brain is accustomed to having heightened serotonin and dopamine levels. When you quit smoking, the levels plummet and your brain has a harder time producing them by itself.
Anxiety is another common side effect of quitting smoking marijuana. Much like the issue with depression, this is because of the way marijuana interacts with the human brain. As marijuana has some anxiolytic effects, the removal of the drug causes the brain to go back to normal. This results in some heightened sensitivity to anxiety.
Although we may think of rehabs as being for those struggling with addictions to meth or heroin, people do go to rehab for marijuana addiction. Quitting on your own can be quite difficult, especially when faced with depression, anxiety, and other unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal. During this period of withdrawal, many people return to smoking weed in order to ease the discomfort.
Dr. Dun is trained in long-term as well as short-term interventions, including psychodynamic therapy, DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). She has tended patients with various clinical needs, such as relational stress, attachment issues, anxiety, depression, trauma, severe mental illness, substance use, psychological distress related to chronic medical illness, personality dysfunction, academic and developmental issues. Dr. Dun has experience with working with adults of various ages, as well as with adolescents, and provides individual, family, couples, and group treatment.
Rates of smoking among people with mental illness were highest for young adults less than age 45, those with low levels of education, and those living below the poverty level.143 The 2005-2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data indicated that smoking among adults without chronic conditions has declined significantly, but remains higher among those reporting anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders.3 Similarly, a recent study based on the 2006-2019 NSDUH data showed higher smoking rates in adults with psychiatric disorders than in those without; however, most importantly, smoking rates among adults with major depression and/or substance use disorder declined significantly during 2006-2019 in every examined age, sex, and racial and ethnic subgroup, except for non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native adults. These results suggest that tobacco cessation is achievable a